Cognitive Dissonance Sample Paper

3-1 Discussion: Cognitive Dissonance

What is cognitive dissonance? What role does it play in regards to attitude and/or behavior change? What is the role of external rewards in regards to attitude change?

How might a new car salesperson use what he/she knows about cognitive dissonance (sometimes called buyer’s remorse) to make a customer more content with their purchase (and less likely to want to return their vehicle)?

Use research from the Shapiro Library to support your claims.

To complete this assignment, review the Graduate Discussion Rubric document.

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What is cognitive dissonance?

Cognitive dissonance refers to the mental discomfort experienced by a person who possesses two or more opposing beliefs, values, or ideas. In this case, the mental discomfort is brought about by a situation where a person’s belief collides with new evidence perceived by him or her (Chang, Solomon, & Westerfield, 2016).

What role does it play in regards to attitude and/or behavior change?

Usually, when confronted with facts that go against beliefs or ideas, people tend to find a way to address the contradiction to minimize their discomfort (Chang et al., 2016). As such, cognitive dissonance makes people question their long-held beliefs and change their behaviors. In other words, when people come across new evidence that contradicts their beliefs, they try to change their behaviors in order to reduce discomfort of the contradiction of beliefs/ideas. 

What is the role of external rewards in regards to attitude change?

External rewards can act as incentives to make people change their attitudes on various issues. For instance, organizations give their employees rewards to compel them to embrace changes or fit in their organization culture (Chang et al., 2016). One way through which discomfort between contradictory beliefs can be reduced or eliminated is through acquiring new information that outweighs the existing beliefs. For this reason, organizations can provide detailed information about their proposed policies in order to convince employees to adopt the changes.

How might a new car salesperson use what he/she knows about cognitive dissonance (sometimes called buyer’s remorse) to make a customer more content with their purchase (and less likely to want to return their vehicle)?

The salesperson needs to provide detailed information to the customer regarding the car they are selling. This approach would enable the customer to be sure about every detail and aspect of the car and make informed decisions. It means, therefore, that the customer will decide to purchase the car with full knowledge about its features, advantages, and disadvantages.

References

Chang, T. Y., Solomon, D. H., & Westerfield, M. M. (2016). Looking for someone to blame:        Delegation, cognitive dissonance, and the disposition effect. The Journal of Finance,    71(1), 267-302.